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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » Natural Products Utilization Research » Research » Research Project #438514

Research Project: Biobased Pesticide Discovery and Product Optimization and Enhancement from Medicinal and Aromatic Crops

Location: Natural Products Utilization Research

Project Number: 6060-41000-015-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jul 7, 2020
End Date: Jul 6, 2025

Objective:
1. Discover bioactive pesticides (fungicidal and herbicidal) that enhance quality and marketability of small fruits and specialty crops. 1.1. Discover novel biofungicides and bioherbicides from crude extract screening and bioassay-directed isolation approaches. 1.2. Isolation and identification of antifungal metabolites from actinomycete fermentation for control of important fungal plant pathogens. 1.3. Investigation of plant pathogenic fungi for phytotoxic and antifungal activities and synthetic modification of the isolated compounds to gain insights into structure-activity relationships. 2. Determine plant growth and post-harvest processing conditions to enhance or optimize commercially important bioactive compound concentrations. 2.1. Target medicinal and aromatic plant growth and post-harvest processing conditions to enhance or optimize commercially important bioactive compound concentrations.

Approach:
The long-term objectives of this project are to identify, chemically characterize, and develop new weed and plant pathogen managing biochemical biopesticides from natural sources and enhance or optimize commercially important bioactive compound concentrations. Plant and microbial extracts will be sourced using a variety of approaches and methods as evidenced through previous publications by the authors. These extracts will be subjected to in-house bioassays which include both antifungal and herbicidal based assays as described below. A bioassay-guided investigative approach will be performed on bioactive extracts in an effort to identify the specific natural compound(s) responsible for the activity of the extract(s). In-house high-throughput bioassays will be utilized to identify bioactive constituents with antifungal and herbicidal activities. A second component of this project pertains to natural products obtained from medicinal and aromatic crops which are low-volume high-value commodities that have numerous applications in various industries such as food, beverage, food supplement, flavor and fragrance, perfumery and cosmetics, pharmaceutical, aromatherapy, and various consumer products. Sourcing these and other natural compounds in an economical manner directly from plants is constantly evolving which creates an opportunity for small and mid-size farms.